Defense leads HRV to first victory of season

Eagles fall behind early, but come back to defeat The Dalles for second straight year


Senior Rocky Level ran for 174 yards and a touchdown to help lead HRV to its first win of the season -- a 13-7 defensive battle at The Dalles.

THE DALLES — Last Friday’s season opener between The Dalles and Hood River Valley was a lot more tame than the 2002 version.

Shades of last year were practically non-existent at Bob Williams Field, as the Indians and Eagles combined to score 20 points — 85 less than last year’s 69-36 shootout.

The Eagles weren’t setting any school points records on Friday, nor were they exposing craters in The Dalles’ defense like last year.

Instead, HRV rode its retooled defense to break down the Indians and escape with a 13-7 win.

“We won this one with our defense,” coach Mitch Sanders said of his team, which held the Indians to 136 yards of total offense, while recording two interceptions and five sacks.

“There is still a ton of room for improvement, and we need to cut back on the penalties (18). But The Dalles throws the ball as well as any team we will see this year, which says a lot about the job our secondary did,” he said.

Safeties Adam Mack and Kyle Maurer teamed up with the cornerback foursome of Danny Newton, Terry Sanders, Nolan Johnson and Alejandro Lozano to prevent Indians quarterback Bo Gridley from finding a rhythm.

Coach Sanders said he was also pleased with the play of his linebackers, who are led by junior returning starter Bryan Williams.

“If I had to name a defensive player of the game, I would probably give it to Bryan,” Sanders said. “He never made any mistakes, and made a ton of tackles in the middle of the field.”

Williams also grabbed a key third-quarter interception, which halted an eight-play drive.

Junior Luke McCarthy and senior Rocky Level provided insurance on the outsides, and frustrated Gridley into numerous hurried passes — one which ended up in Level’s hands with 5 minutes to go.

“Everyone on the defense made plays for us,” Sanders said. “There were no busted coverages, and the juniors and seniors really complemented each other well.”

Sanders also praised the work of senior linemen Zach Royall, Jorge Lujano, Heath Goin and Jason DeHart, who resembled the 2002 line as they opened gaping holes for Level, Maurer, Newton and Bond.

The O-line helped propel Level to a varsity career high of 174 yards, highlighted by a 42-yard scramble that set up HRV’s first score at the 6-minute mark of the second quarter.

On that drive, Newton punched the ball in from 6 yards out to help the Eagles rebound from an 85-yard touchdown run on the Indians’ first drive of the game.

With the score tied 7-7, HRV took over on downs and drove the length of the field before Level rambled 36 yards up the middle for the go-ahead score.

Johnson’s extra point sailed wide right, however, and after he missed a field goal on the last play of the half, the Eagles were forced to cling to a six-point lead for the rest of the game.

“Alex (Princehouse) is still learning how to hold the football on kicks,” Sanders said. “The whole team knows that we have a ton of room for improvement. But we did come away with a win, and everyone contributed.”

Sanders complimented Princehouse, the junior starting quarterback, on his ability to run the double-wing, double-tight offense.

He said there were no fumbled snaps, and while Princehouse’s only two pass attempts fell incomplete, Sanders still has confidence in him if the Eagles need to throw the ball downfield.

“He didn’t make any major mistakes, which is what the quarterback in this offense needs to dom: he said. “He ran our base offense very effectively and blocked really well. Overall, I’d say he played a solid first game for us.”

Sanders also tipped his cap to the new members of the offensive line for helping the Eagles rack up a total of 391 yards.

Center Alex Dominguez, guard Cam Lucas, and tight ends McCarthy and Goin teamed up with Royall, Lujano and DeHart to create a formidable front seven for the wings to run behind.

Level led the way with 174 yards on 22 carries, while Bond carried 13 times for 90 yards, Maurer seven times for 68 yards, and Newton 12 times for 45 yards.

Terry Sanders and Lozano also got into the act for one play each, running for 10 and 4 yards, respectively.

“I liked how we ran the football,” coach Sanders said. “The one thing we need to correct is the execution of our blocking assignments. But I don’t expect us to be perfect in the first game. All I know is, we will be better this week.”

The Eagles travel to Benson on Friday night for a rematch of last year’s 42-26 home win. Sanders said the Techmen return most of their linemen and skill players, and should provide a good early-season test for his squad.

“This game should prepare us well for the IMC,” he said. “They have a lot of athleticism at the wideouts and some strong linemen on both sides of the ball.”

The Eagles will follow up Friday’s game with two home dates against league foes Summit (Sept. 19) and Hermiston (Sept. 26), which won the league in 2002.

Oregon has picked HRV to win the IMC this year, with Hermiston finishing second and Pendleton third.

Latest stories

Latest video:

Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners